Flooring decisions are just as important as wall color and overall layout to home design and the final feel of your home. The color, texture, and depth of your hardwood floor choice will transfer a vibe and character to the entire house. This vibe will last for as long as your house stands. Therefore, it is very important to choose wisely when considering the many types of two-toned hardwood designs on the market.
In this post, we offer 11 different potential two-tone hardwood flooring designs. Also, we answer a few related questions. Generally, these designs can be split into two categories. First, there are hardwood floors of a single wood type that exhibits two distinct tones. In fact, the multi-tonality of hardwood flooring is one of the major draws to hardwood as a flooring type in the first place.
The second two-tone hardwood floor designs are those that actually use two different kinds of wood to embed a pattern into your floor. Often, this strategy is used to complement entryways, thresholds, fireplaces, and other natural home delineations. Other times, the wood patterns are the primary feature of a room and can function to give the room both space and depth.
With the two types of two-toned hardwood designs in mind, the following examples of two-tone hardwood floors should help get your creative juices flowing to choose the flooring that perfectly fits your home and personal design style. Remember, there are no hard and fast two-tone hardwood flooring rules other than be sure to choose a style that you and/or your family will enjoy for years and years to come.
1. Dark Wood With Natural Light Highlights
This two-tone hardwood kitchen succinctly highlights the natural variance that hardwood often exhibits. Here we see that different cuts of the same wood and even different parts of the same board can show drastically different shades.
The depth of the difference is also dependent on how the floor is finished. This dual tonality adds interest and stateliness to this room's design.
2. Extravagant Hardwood Dining Room
In this example, we see two different types of wood combined for a high degree of artistic and craftmanship merit. The squares of the flooring are likely designed to match the square nature of the eventual dining room table that this room will hold.
However, with or without furniture, this two-tone hardwood design here is sure to impress guests and make you smile every time you enter the room.
3. Light And Dark Patchwork
In this example, the two tones of hardwood are randomly interspersed in a way that imparts a natural and high fashioned look. Likely, one or two types of similar wood are used here.
Be careful when you opt for flooring that is this busy, as you may find that more simple wall and furniture decoration choices are best. However, remember that most wood floors will fade in brightness given time.
4. Second Tone As Fireplace Accent
For this photo, different styles and species of wood are used to accent the fireplace area. This creates the visual appearance of a hearth without the dangerous and cumbersome change in floor height often associated with these home features.
In this example, the hearth area is lighter, but opting for a darker hearth is also a modern and attractive choice. Also, it is possible to inlay a square around the hearth.
5. Heart Wood And Near-Bark Wood
On this striking hardwood floor, we see rich browns and almost bright whites. This is because the wood color of a single tree species sometimes changes based on where the wood was when the tree was cut down.
Usually, the heartwood, or the wood near the center of the tree, is darker. In contrast, the wood near the outside of the tree is often lighter. In lucky cases, this difference is a stark and attractive one.
6. Highlighting The Threshold
This photo displays a subtle and two-tone style. Dark hardwood is accented by even darker hardwood. Here, the dark ascents are used to delineate a wide threshold between one part of the house and another.
In that way, this photo makes a good example of how you can use two-tone hardwood to break up a house between rooms, room parts, or even home sections.
7. Subtle, Light, Two-Tone, And Herringbone
Herringbone refers to the perpendicular diagonal pattern displayed in the above photo. In this pattern, we can see that the generally light-colored hardwood actually is two-toned. The light tan color is interspersed with splashes of whiter, yellower, darker, and more orange patches of material.
Once again, the finish and type of wood will dictate how stark the two-tone nature is. This design can either be random with colors or the lighter and darker boards can be installed in a purposeful pattern.
8. Herringbone Floor With Dark And Light Two-Tone
In this bedroom, we see a grayer overall two-tone hardwood floor. In contrast to the previous picture, the floor here is much darker and more subdued.
This general style matches a more modern tone that may include more metal fixtures, unfinished open ceilings like in city apartments, and/or gray walls or furniture.
9. Highlighting The Entryway
Again, the above photo is an example of using the second tone of hardwood to delineate between parts of a home. Here, the area around the front door includes a much lighter section of hardwood.
This not only creates an interesting design and look but also clearly highlights to guests the area where they are intended to take off shoes, coats, and leave umbrellas.
10. Two-Toned And Patterened
In this two-tone hardwood floor picture, we see darker and lighter pieces of what is likely a single wood type.
In addition to the main flooring pattern, you can see this wood was installed with a neat border around the outside of the room. A decision such as this, while more expensive to install, is sure to impress and hold design cache for years to come.
11. Dark Fine Border
As in the previous example, here we see a border that goes around the outside of the room. In contrast, this border is done with a thin strip of significantly darker wood. In this case, a viewer's eye would certainly be drawn to this area which could be used to highlight wall art or other common home decorations.
In the following subsections, we answer a few questions related to this post that will help you make your hardwood flooring decision.
Should Wood Floors Be Lighter Or Darker Than Cabinets?
This is a common question that has a common answer. That is to say, there is no hard and fast rule about whether cabinets or flooring should be darker.
Instead, take the time to make sure that your cabinet color and your hardwood color match. A good way to ensure this is to explore model homes and design catalogs to get a sense of what woods and colors work well together.
What Color Hardwood Floor Is Timeless?
In general, all hardwood floors are timeless. They are a classy flooring option that plays both to modern and old-school sensibilities.
Rather than choosing a color because you hope it is timeless, instead consider matching your hardwood floor color to the overall design of your home. That being said, most designers and architects consider classic wood tones timeless.
In this post, we provided 11 great examples of two-tone hardwood flooring. We included both naturally two-tone designs and those that incorporate different woods and patterns in order to create that two-tone look. Now, you should be that much closer to making a hardwood flooring decision you will be happy with for years to come. Good luck!
For more great information on hardwood floors and hardwood flooring design options, consider reading these other guides: